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by Barb
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Comedy · #2290962
Buying a Maid Of Honor dress gone horribly wrong
As tempting as it is to take this shameful tale to the grave with me, the storyteller in me must share.

I'm not exactly a "frou-frou" kind of gal. I tried to enter Frou-Frou Land once to go dress shopping and it did not go well. I was given the privilege of being my fabulous sister's maid of honor. She gave me a list of eight styles of dress to choose from. The store that carried them was by appointment only. I called on a Wednesday for a Saturday appointment and was told it was most likely too late for an opening at that point. I was put on hold for a very long time, but eventually the woman came back on the line and said she still had a "few" openings and did I have a preference. Thinking beggars shouldn't be choosers, I asked if they had anything in the afternoon. She replied, "I have openings at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00" That, it turns out, was not only odd, it was foreshadowing.

I knew the name of the street the store was on, and it was a major road that transects all of Syracuse, New York, miles and miles long. While I still had her on the phone, I asked for a cross street to help me find the place. She wouldn't tell me! But she did at least cut my search in half by begrudgingly indicating it was on the east side of town.

When I walked into the store, the place was crazy mobbed. Imagine if a restaurant took reservations, but never actually said no to anyone. You show up with a reservation but still have to stand around and wait and wait for an available table (or dressing room in this case). Either admit it's first come first serve and don't make people call ahead, or tell people no if they ask for a time slot already filled. The woman helping me even said "You picked a really bad day to come." Well, why didn't you tell me that when you made me call in to reserve a time?

They set me loose and I tracked down the 8 dress styles and decided I'd like to try on 4 of them. I don't know if other people had those dresses at that moment or if the store had shocking inventory gaps, but they didn't have my size in all the styles. Or even the next size up or down. For one dress the woman brought me a size 24 to try. Listen, no shame if that's your size, but it's nowhere near my size and I couldn't imagine how she thought trying it on would be helpful. Then she asked if I wanted her to bring me a strapless bra to try on with some of the dresses. I said OK. I really feel like that's when I started to lose all control by virtue of being so totally and utterly out of my element. She brought this - thing - the likes of which I'd never seen before. I think it may have been a corset. I couldn't figure it out and eventually abandoned my attempts.

The thing about this boutique that was bordering on cruel, there were no mirrors in the dressing rooms so you were forced to go out to see yourself. And as I mentioned, on the day of my visit the place is packed; with other bridesmaids, brides, and their whole families - brothers, fathers, boyfriends and fiances. Look everyone - everyone! - come look at my exposed bra straps, please! Now look at me basically wearing a size 24 sack that I'm swimming in. What a treat for everyone.

Now, here's where things really took a turn for the worse. I had eventually found a dress with buttons up the back that was in my size. Of the different styles I had to choose from, I thought it looked the nicest, so I really wanted to try it on. I attempted to put it on feet first. No go. I tried putting it on over my head. That's when Houdini apparently took over and started channeling through me. Ever seen footage of how he wiggles, writhes and contorts his body to get out of straight jackets? That, in reverse, was me getting into this dress. I tried getting both arms through at once. Again, no luck. I went for one arm through, but it was then bound, straight up, to my neck. Wouldn't you think at this point my mind would be screaming "Barb! This is not the dress for you! It doesn't fit!" But no. I got the other arm through and as I struggled mightily to button up the back, I actually thought to myself that maybe if I could get in this far again at the wedding, one of the other bridesmaids could help me with the buttons. I should have been thinking, never again.

I went out to look in the mirror and it fit. I looked good in it. It was just the little difficult to get on over hips. I went back into the dressing room to take it off and again struggled mightily to unbutton the back. And that's when it happened. I slowly realized I was legit trapped in the dress. Totally, utterly trapped. I couldn't get it down over my waist and I couldn't get it up over my head. It was probably only 3 or 4 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. I vacillated between chuckling and thinking "Dear God, they're going to have cut me out of this thing. I'll be on the evening news in my underwear." To add to the ridiculousness, there was a group of women right outside waiting for a changing room having an extremely detailed discussion about, um, let's call it wedding night tips, and the woman in the fitting room next to me asking for a tremendously huge strapless bra - like a 54DD. The extremely tactful saleswoman said "I'll see what we have, but I don't think we have that in stock today..."

All I could think was, surely I'm not the first woman with hips to enter this establishment. It just wasn't making sense to me. I turned the dress around so the back was in the front to see if the buttons went down farther than it felt like they did. Nope (damn!!) I kept turning it around so it would be front-wise again and that's when I discovered a long zipper on the side. It never occurred to me that a dress with buttons down the back would also have an all-important zipper on the side. I went from feeling ashamed that I was trapped in the dress to feeling proud that I got into it in the first place.

I bought it, got my hair done up so fancily my own aunt didn't recognize me, and had a blast at the wedding.

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